Biography of Gulzarilal Nanda – The Interim Prime Minister of India

Gulzarilal Nanda is one of the familiar names of the Indian political arena in the 19th century. Teacher, freedom fighter, politician Nanda’s entire life was dedicated to the country. Gulzarilal Nanda, an owner of simple personality is a role model for the entire society.

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Biography of Gulzarilal Nanda

Biography of Gulzarilal Nanda

Table of Contents

NameGulzarilal Nanda[1]
Date of BirthJuly 4, 1898
Place of BirthSialkot, Punjab, British India
Father’s NameBulaqi Ram Nanda
Mother’s NameIshwari Devi Nanda
AwardBharat Ratna, 1997
DiedJanuary 15, 1998

Early Life of Gulzarilal Nanda

Gulzarilal Nanda is one of the notable political leaders who played an important role in Indian politics. Nanda is best known especially for his role as Interim Prime Minister. Importantly Gulzarilal Nanda served as the Interim Prime Minister twice in his political career. Nanda’s contribution to India’s social life is undeniable even though he has taken charge for a very short time as Prime Minister.

Gulzarilal Nanda was born on July 4, 1898 to a Punjabi Hindu family of the Khatri caste in the then Punjab province of Sialkot under British Indian rule. His father’s name is Bulaqi Ram Nanda and his mother’s name is Ishwari Devi Nanda. Gulzarilal Nanda completed his formal education from Lahore, Amritsar, Agra and Pragyaraj.

Also Read : Biography of Neelam Sanjiva Reddy

Career

Gulzarilal Nanda joined Allahabad University as a research student after completing his formal education. He completed his research work from 1920 to 1921 with the problem of workers (labours) as the main subject. Nanda later started his professional career as a professor of economics at the National College of Bombay.

Nanda also served as secretary of Ahmedabad Textile Labour Association from 1922 to 1946. It may be recalled that he took up an important post in the Bombay Assembly in 1937 and was elected parliamentary secretary of the Labour and Excise department for two years from 1937 to 1939.

Political Career

It may be recalled that Gulzarilal Nanda also actively participated in India’s freedom movement that started against the British. Importantly, he left the teaching profession at that time because of his active participation in the freedom movement. Nanda, a follower of Mahatma Gandhi, actively participated in the programmes of the movement launched by Mahatma Gandhi against the British and also participated in Satyagraha. It may be recalled that Gulzarilal Nanda participated in the agitation and performed twice. Once in 1932, he again participated in the freedom movement despite his imprisonment. In the wake of which, for the second time in 1942, the British government again arrested Nanda and imprisoned him till 1944.

Gulzarilal Nanda as a member of the Bombay Legislative Assembly played an important role in speeding up the progress and development of Bombay city. Nanda subsequently served as Labour Minister of the Bombay government from 1946 to 1950 and it may be recalled that Nanda had tried to understand the importance of the Labour Dispute Bill in the state assembly as labour minister. He also served as the Trust of Kasturba Memorial Trust, Secretary, Hindustan Mazdoor Sevak Sangh, Chairman, Bombay Housing Board, Secretary, Labour Welfare Agency of India. Importantly Gulzarilal Nanda also played an important role in forming the Indian National Trade Union Congress.

Nanda represented India in 1947 and participated in the International Labour Summit held in Geneva. It may be recalled that after attending the conference, Gulzarilal Nanda had the opportunity to work on The Freedom of Association Committee and visit these countries to study the labour and housing conditions of European countries like Sweden, France, Switzerland, Belgium and England.

Gulzarilal Nanda took over as vice chairman of the Planning Commission of India in March 1950 after India gained its independence. Nanda was subsequently elected the Planning Minister of India in 1951 and his field expanded further and took over as Ministry of Irrigation and Energy in the Government of India.

Gulzarilal Nanda took over as irrigation and energy ministry after being elected as an MP from Bombay Lok Sabha constituency in the 1952 general elections. Importantly, he led the Indian team to participate in the Planning Advisory Committee held in Singapore in 1955 and represented India at the International Labour Summit held in Geneva in 1959.

Nanda was elected to the Lok Sabha for the second time in the 1957 general elections and took over as Union Labour Employment and Planning minister and subsequently took over as vice chairman of the Planning Commission. It may be recalled that he visited the Federal Republic of Germany, Yugoslavia and Austria in 1959.

Gulzarilal Nanda was re-elected to the Lok Sabha from Sabarkantha constituency in Gujarat in the 1962 general elections. Importantly, he served as Union Minister of Labour and Employment from 1962 to 1963 and Home Minister from 1963 to 1966. He also played a key role in launching the Congress Forum for Socialist Action in 1962.

Importantly, the then Prime Minister of India Jawaharlal Nehru died in 1964 when an unpleasant situation prevailed between India and China. At that time India needed leadership and Gulzarilal Nanda took over as the Interim Prime Minister of India for only 13 days from May 27, 1964 to June 9, 1964.

It may be recalled that Gulzarilal Nanda subsequently resigned from the interim post after Lal Bahadur Shastri was sworn in as the second Prime Minister of India. But Nanda again held the post of Interim Prime Minister after the death of Lal Bahadur Shastri in 1966. He served as prime minister for only 13 days at that time. Gulzarilal Nanda had a tenure at that time, from January 11, 1966 to January 24, 1966. It may be recalled that the time when Nanda took over as the Interim Prime Minister, it was a very important time for India as there was a war between India and Pakistan at that time.

Simple personality possessor Gulzarilal Nanda never misused his power. Never used his position to serve his personal interests. He lived a very simple life with no personal property. He lived with his family in a rented house.

Conclusion

A report about Gulzarilal Nanda who had no craving for material life revealed that he had no specific source of income. He did not accept his INR 500 pension. He was once thrown out from his rented apartment in a residential colony by his landlord because he failed to pay his rent, but was allowed to stay for some more time on request of the neighbours. This event was recorded by a journalist, and eventually published by a newspaper, after which he had to be forced to accept an INR 500 monthly government pension by his eminent former colleagues and friends, from which he ultimately paid his rent. He was also concerned about rising corruption in the country and suggested to decrease wasteful consumption by officials and people in general. He had also opposed Indira Gandhi’s Emergency, as he felt that the sacrifice to bring democracy to India became meaningless due to the tyranny. It may be recalled that recognizing his contribution to the country, the Government of India conferred him the Bharat Ratna, India’s highest civilian honour, in 1997. Nanda, a follower of Mahatma Gandhi, lived like a common citizen following Gandhian principles till the end of his life. His life gives a message to the society that – Simple Living and High Thinking.

Gulzarilal Nanda, who played an important role in Indian politics in the 19th century, breathed his last at the age of 99 on January 15, 1998 at his residence in New Delhi.

FAQ

1. For what Gulzarilal Nanda is best known?

Answer: Gulzarilal Nanda is best known for his role as interim prime minister. He served twice as interim prime minister. The first term was for only 13 days from May 27, 1964 to June 9, 1964. He second took charge for 13 days from January 11,1966 to January 24, 1966.

2. When and where was Gulzarilal Nanda born?

Answer: Gulzarilal Nanda was born on July 4, 1898 to a Punjabi Hindu family of the Khatri caste in the then Punjab province of Sialkot under British Indian rule.

3. What is the name of Gulzarilal Nanda’s father and mother?

Answer: Gulzarilal Nanda’s father’s name is Bulaqi Ram Nanda and mother’s name is Ishwari Devi Nanda.

4. What is Gulzarilal Nanda’s contribution to India’s freedom struggle?

Answer: Gulzarilal Nanda actively participated in India’s freedom movement that started against the British. He quit his teaching profession to take active part in the freedom movement. He was first imprisoned for agitating in 1932 but for the second time in 1942, the British government arrested Nanda and imprisoned him till 1944.

5. When Gulzarilal Nanda was awarded with Bharat Ratna?

Answer: Nanda was awarded with Bharat Ratna in 1997.

6. When did Gulzarilal Nanda died?

Answer: Gulzarilal Nanda breathed his last on January 15, 1998 at the age of 99.

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